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A Comment on Sanzo's Virginity and Sexuality
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This is probably an unusual topic to start my journal with, but I'm doing it anyway. There have been many instances when I've read a description of Genjo Sanzo online where the writer says something such as "He smokes, drinks, gambles, and kills, and he's most likely not a virgin". I find it surprising when people think Sanzo isn't a virgin. The fact that he doesn't follow other priestly rules doesn't mean that he isn't a virgin. Personally, I think Sanzo is a virgin. He obviously doesn't like being close to people. He keeps his distance both emotionally and physically. His fear of getting close to people emotionally started with the death of Koumyou, and his "hold nothing" motto adds to Sanzo's avoidance of intimacy. It's been pointed out to me that he could still be physically intimate with someone without being emotionally close. I feel as though Sanzo wouldn't take part in a physical relationship with someone without being emotionally intimate. Even among his close friends, while he's becoming emotionally closer, he still keeps his distance physically. Sanzo has never shown the slightest sexual interest in anyone they met on their journey, male or female. I really don't see Sanzo as the kind of person who would sneak out of the inn in the middle of the night to sleep with a prostitute.

If Sanzo did in fact have sex before, it would probably have been some time between when he left the temple after his master died and when he found Goku. During this time, Sanzo was essentially soulless and didn't seem to care what happened to him. However, despite seeming careless, he still had respect for his body as well as having a really sturdy wall up to keep people away from him emotionally and physically. It seems to me that he has plenty of reasons to be afraid of sexual contact. Even when Koumyou was alive, monks would hit on him (and I'm pretty sure Ukoku hit on him at one point). The first person Sanzo murdered was a man who was trying to rape him. Although I've read that that's probably not enough to make him want to avoid sex forever, and the thing that was tormenting Sanzo all these years was the fact that he killed someone rather than the fact someone tried to rape him, I find it likely that the attempted rape had some sort of impact on him. (I'd like to point out the scene in the burial arc where Sanzo was bathing and a monk came in. Perhaps this scene had nothing to do with sexual assault, but I'd like to point out the possibility. Sanzo seriously lost it when the monk saw his naked body. Considering how paranoid Sanzo was back then, I feel like it's possible that Sanzo was afraid the monks would try to do things to him when he's naked and weaponless. It's likely that he just didn't want them to see his scars, but even the scars hold significance to this topic, since they were the result of Sanzo fighting off the bandits who tried to assault him. Then again, he could've just been really tired and irritable from lack of sleep when the monks came into the room.) Even though that one scene in volume 3 of Reload where Sanzo was 13 was the only one that showed attempted rape on Sanzo, I have a feeling that wasn't the only instance where Sanzo was sexually attacked. Even years later the occasional character would make a perverted comment towards the priest (usually including a comment on how feminine Sanzo's face is). There was this one scene, I believe it was in volume 5 of Saiyuki, where a thug in a bar tried to molest Sanzo before Sanzo shoved his gun in his face. I feel like all of these instances are at least reason enough for Sanzo to not be interested in sex with men.

Let's go on to women, shall we? There are rarely any moments where Sanzo goes anywhere close to women. The one and only scene I remember in which Sanzo touches a women is in the part (I believe it was in Reload), where Sanzo is fighting his clone. There's a girl who gets in the way when he's fighting, and he holds her close for one panel as if to protect her, only to shove/kick her aside in the next frame. I can't think of any instances where Sanzo pushed a woman away for trying to flirt with him, but then again, I don't think any women were brave enough to even try. Anyway, Sanzo never shows any sexual interest in women whatsoever (unless I am missing something, in which case I'd like to be informed of this). In the second volume, Sanzo is even teased by Gojyo for not finding the girl they met attractive. I find it hard to imagine Sanzo secretly lusting for any women. And I definitely can't see him secretly having sex with anyone either. To me, he just doesn't seem to have any interest in that kind of physical relationship. Since Sanzo doesn't have any apparent interest in sexual encounters (he's probably asexual), and he blew off the head of anyone who even tried to do anything to him, it seems obvious to me that Sanzo is a virgin. I also think I remember Gojyo calling Sanzo "cherry boy" at one point, but Gojyo always teases Sanzo like that.

Well, that's all I have on the topic for the moment. I hope to hear your comments and opinions on the topic.

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I would agree that he's probably a virgin. I think from the time he left Kinzan temple he's probably been accosted in one way or another. That rape attempt we see in Burial was the first, but probably not the last, so that by the time he's in Keiun he's hair-trigger sensitive about anyone coming near him.

All of that unwanted attention shaped his behavior. We can see in Burial that Kouryuu was an arrogant little shit, but he didn't have the rough manner or "tough-guy" languange that he displays as Genjyo Sanzo. He acts and talks tough to keep people at a distance.

*puts on 393 shipper glasses* I think the only person he would ever do anything with would be Goku. We've already seen that the monkey can invade his considerable personal space and touch him, lean on him, sleep on him, etc. They've lived together for at least 7-8 years, and Goku is probably the only person he truly trusts. He would also definitely be the one in control in that relationship, which I think would be extremely important for him.

Having said that, I think that Sanzo is probably asexual; he is so driven by his intent to retrieve his master's kyoumon (and extract revenge) that I think most physical wants and needs get pushed aside. So if not Goku, then probably no one.

Edited at 2013-08-27 05:38 pm (UTC)

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